MICHAEL ROBERT MAHALAK
As an artist, I learned there’s a lot more to art than just to draw and paint an image onto a canvas or a piece of paper. The first lesson I learn about art is that I do not have to be perfect, but to gain that perfection takes time and practice. When I started to draw as a child, I expected all of my drawings to come out photo realistic, but they never did. As a result, I became upset and very impatient with process of creating a good work of art. &s I got older, I learned not to try to be perfect while creating my art, but to try to develop my own style to which it doesn't have to be photo real. This realization came about to me when I studied art history, other artist, their styles, and theories. The first lesson I learn about art is that I do not have to be perfect, but to gain that perfection takes time and practice. When I started to draw as a child, I expected all of my drawings to come out photo realistic, but they never did. As a result, I became upset and very impatient with process of creating a good work of art. &s I got older, I learned not to try to be perfect while creating my art, but to try to develop my own style to which it doesn't have to be photo real. This realization came about to me when I studied art history, other artist, their styles, and theories.
While I studied other artist, their styles and theories which goes into creating art, I noticed that art is not about perfection. What it is really about is mostly styles, techniques, and how it can affect the viewer’s conception of the world around them. Artist such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, and many others, had greatly influence the way I do art. Sense then, I grown as an artist and along with that, my art matured over time. These artists and their works continue to inspire and to help me to see things differently, but especially how I viewed and define art. I define art as of having the ability to make or to create things which is beautiful and is pleasing to the eye. It's a form of self expression though the use of colors, light, and movement of lines within the picture plane to create sense of emotion for us to feel the way an artist feel. Not only art can create a sense of emotion, but it can help bring about awareness of our world around us, such as war, pollution, and many other current events of our time. Art defines our culture, and preserves our history through the images, tools, sculpture, and architecture which gave us a sense of uniqueness that set us apart from one another. By learning the history and how art define us as a society, this too lead me to develop my art which is different from the other artist. This development of my style of art came about while I was in high school; in fact, it was an assignment from my art instructor that we have to create an art work base on a style of the master’s as such Cubism, Impressionism, and Surrealist. The style I choose to use was cubism. When I did this assignment, my painting did not turn out to be cubism but it turn out to be more stained glass. I went with this style in most of my art by using simple colors in each separate design going from dark to lightest color. I used this same technique in my art for a short while until I learn to develop another technique which to take my style to the next level. Instead of using simple colors, I used a shading technique which make each shape appears to be three- dimensional. Only thing I had left to do is to figure out of what to call my style in my artwork. So, one day a good friend of mine at church took a look at my drawings and called the style Fractionalism. Now, with this style, I fragmented beautiful objects into multiple three- dimensional- like shapes. In other words, I use shapes within a shape to bring a sense of flow of movement, or rhythm with an object like the human body, for an example. Later on, I soon learned something about what type of emotions which will bring to the viewer. Like for some this style is ugly, too confined, and too harsh, but to others, it is Breathtaking, that's why I use bright vivid contrasting colors to define nature and humanity in my work. I’d like my art to be able to bring something out of what the viewers see in my work which is something positive, and with great deal of beauty. This is what I believe that art is and the way I express it through my style. What is Fractionalism?
There's really no definition for the word, mainly because no one ever heard it before. Awhile back, before I went back to college, a group of friends of mine at church looked at my drawings I did, and asked me what type of style I'm using. I told them that I really don't know for sure, but during that time when I develop this style, I never thought about what style to call it. To most people whom had seen this style referred to it as being a stain glass drawing with the lines flowing within the subject matter. So one of my friends finally gave a name to this style in reference to a Math term fractions to which she call it Fractionalism. So, since then, I went with it, calling my style Fractionalism which made my art to stand out from other artists.
I define Fractionalism is something like taking an object and dividing it up into different designs within the subject matter to the point that the image appears to be like a stain glass window. It gives an illusion of a living and a still life model an appearance of having a musculature, or organic likeness to be seen on the outside. Fractionalism appears to be view as an Abstract Realistic image to where the viewer can still recognize the subject within the lines in the image area. When the subjects take on this look, like the drawing within a drawing and with the use of shading in each shape, it appears to overlap each other in order to get a certain emotional reaction from the viewer, such as harshness. Now with the development this style, I have a lot of influence from prior art style, emotional, and social experience.
The one of influence for Fractionalism was cubism to which I was trying to achieve for a high school art assignment where we pick a certain style from the great master. The assignment did not turn out the way I wanted it to, but instead, it turn out even better that it affected the way I do art. What happen was that instead of doing the work in cubism, it ended up not even close enough to it, but with my work having an image still being recognizable. The style I used came out looking like sharp angler, paper like cut being paste unto other paper with several different colors going from dark to light for each shape. I created art by this method until I got unto college and then my style started to take on a new look. By leaving behind of using just sharp angles shapes, simple different colors in each shapes, and leaving the subject floating in the picture , I moved into doing something different with my style that brought on an art form to able to mature that will be pleasing to the viewer. This time I used shapes within the subject to provide more easy flowing lines throughout the picture which includes add the same method to the background as well. As for the colors, instead of doing them like I was doing at first, I went with shading technique for each shape to give them the 3D appearance. My style of creating art went from a simple High School art assignment using Cubism to mine own style calling it Fractionalism.
Now with the emotional side to fractionalism, when I was writing an artist statement to apply for graduate school, I asked the new department chair person for help. While she was going over my paper, she pointed out to me what feeling my style had on her, at first, I was offended. She doesn't see my style the way other people has seen my work as being beautiful and pleasing to the eye. She describes it as if being too harsh in the reference to the way I apply my lines and colors within the picture plane. It was something like she sees something that I haven't noticed before, but never gave any thought about what type of emotion is express in my works. Since then, I gave a lot of thought of what emotions I'm expressing each time I created art and the same time to keep it looking beautiful and pleasing.
Fractionalism is really a symbolic type of displaying emotions to the point that we look like a shatter pieces of glasses on the floor when the window is broken. What do I mean by this? When we're really feel depress, unhappy, and trying to deal with the pains of everyday life, It's like we're falling to pieces. At times, for others, we're trying to be strong and to have much hope in life which suggests that we're trying to hold ourselves together without falling to pieces. Also included with this style is the sense of harshness and the restriction that is being felt in our world. The world is becoming harsher base upon what is going on in the news and the way people are treating each other. We in a way, are becoming a society that is unforgiving, selfish, and to give into pleasure of inflected pain and misery on others. This is the reason why I used the lines and colors within my subject matter to display that sense of harshness which each of us experience. When each line is sharp within the subject, they make the viewer feel uncomfortable, and feeling like being trap within those shapes which I referred to restriction or confine.
Fractionalism can help us to see the beauty in our world despite the Harshness, and the restriction we experience every day. We fail at times to notice the beauty that our world has to offer and in fact, we either waste or focus too much time on the negative things in life. What I learned about life over the years growing up is that life is not meant to be torture, but to enjoy and to learn. Also this is what art had taught me as well is to see the beauty and to appreciate the positive in all things around me. Recently, I had a lot of people at work or even people who really don't know me, said to me how beautiful my work is and they love my use of color. I really want the viewer to see the beauty the way I see it, and to get something out of my work. I hope that each of you will enjoy looking at my works here at this Gallery.
Michael Robert Mahalak Artist